No Moves to Michigan
Who moves to a cold and gray mid-western state with a sagging economy? Now that folks aren’t tied to areas because of natural resources–coal, iron, and all of the other earthy stuff that made the midwest rich in the 19th and 20th century, what are the reasons to stay? Family would be one, as well as the length of time one has spent in a place. But as important as these are, a state’s growth isn’t maintained by the people who’ve always been there but by people who are moving in and the talents they bring.
The South is becoming home to many Americans from the North because these days people can do all of the same things to make money there and not have to put up with long, gray winters. Not quite that simple, I’m sure, but I bet it’s not far from the truth.
I started thinking more about these issues when I learned a few days ago that a Michigan court ruled that the state’s 2004 constitutional marriage amendment requires state universities to discontinue offering domestic partner benefits for gay staff and faculty. This, of course, puts families who depended on these benefits for their insurance coverage, and especially families with children, at risk. I’ve already read of people who are preparing to move out of state. Can a place with this many problems afford to exclude people? I guess they think they can.
But beyond its effect on gay families, what does the ruling, and the amendment that forced it, say to more inclusive and creative types of people who don’t already live in Michigan? What are the compelling reasons for them to move there when if they are really good at what they do, they can move anywhere and still pay lower taxes? Hmmm…Barcelona or Detroit? Albequerque or Lansing?
I wonder what effect issues like this and the global economy will have on human migration habits.
You already know that John and I plan to move to a place where our family is treated the same as others. This is not our only reason for moving, but it is a primary one. I wonder if somewhere in New Mexico there is a conservative Christian family that is fed up with how equal everyone is treated and as a result is considering relocating to Georgia where gays are put in their place?
Now that the Industrial Age is over and people are “free to move about the country,” will our nation’s blue areas just get bigger and bluer as the red areas do the same? Will we become more polarized rather than less? Will the South’s lingering racial prejudice be weakened by northerners who are used to a more racially integrated society?
Who in their right mind will move to Michigan?